Jeffrey Shandler “Tales Retold: Holocaust Survivors on Schindler’s List”
April 10 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
How are Holocaust survivors’ life stories informed by other narratives with which they
are familiar? Jeffrey Shandler addresses this question in his research on the Shoah
Visual History Archive, the subject of his most recent book, Holocaust Memory in the
Digital Age: Survivors’ Stories and New Media Practices (Stanford University Press).
Among the thousands of interviews conducted in the 1990s for this archive, which
houses the world’s largest collection of video interviews with Holocaust survivors, are
several dozen recordings in which survivors discuss the film Schindler’s List. These
interviewees include Jews who had been rescued by Oskar Schindler, some of whom
were involved in the making of this 1993 film, which prompted director Steven
Spielberg’s to establish the Shoah Visual History Archive. In the course of relating their
life histories, survivors mention Schindler’s List both in connection to their own stories
of surviving the Holocaust and as they reflect on the differences between experience of
the past and its narration.
Jeffrey Shandler is Professor of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. His previous books
include While America Watches: Televising the Holocaust (Oxford University Press),
Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture (University of California
Press), Jews, God, and Videotape: Religion and Media in America (New York University
Press), and Shtetl: A Vernacular Intellectual History (Rutgers University Press). Among
other titles, Shandler is the editor of Awakening Lives: Autobiographies of Jewish Youth
in Poland before the Holocaust (Yale University Press) and co-editor of Entertaining
America: Jews, Movies, and Broadcasting (Princeton University Press) and Anne Frank
Unbound: Media, Imagination, Memory (Indiana University Press).